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The Masks of the Political God by Luca Ozzano

Usage and Impact of E-Petitions

Political Activism
Political Engagement
Public Opinion
Panel Number
Panel Chair
Raphael Kies
University of Luxembourg
Panel Discussant
Jean-Gabriel Contamin
Institut d'Études Politiques de Lille

23/08/2018 15:50 - 17:30
Building: VMP 8 Floor: 2 Room: 205
Petitioning is one of the oldest and most common political participation practices of liberal democracies. However, little specific work has been devoted to it (however see Neiman, Gottdiener, 1982; Contamin, 2001, 2013), in comparison with so-called "conventional" forms such as electoral and partisan participation. The topic has gained a new momentum with the development of information and communication technologies (ICTs). These developments seem to have first facilitated its usage as evidenced by the proliferation of websites dedicated to petitioning. They also seem to have given it a new efficacy both sociological and institutional. E-petitioning has thus been adopted by several "countries" (such as Scotland, the Basque Country, Germany, Great Britain, France and Luxembourg) and the European Union, as a new institutional instrument promoting a supposedly more participative democracy (Riehm alii, 2014). Thus, petitioning seems to have become one of the privileged site of observation of the potential emergence of new forms of political participation.
To date, several scholars have attempted to measure this new phenomenon by analyzing the e-petitioning system put in place by the British government (Margetts et al., 2011, Yasseri et al., 2013; Wright, 2015 and 2016), by the German government (Lindner and Riehm, 2011, Jungherr and Jürgens, 2010, Schmidt, 2014, Escher and Riehm, 2017, Puschmann and Alli, 2017). ), by Luxembourgish Parliament (Kies, 2016), or even by studying private petitioning platforms (Bermudez, Bright, Pilet and Soubiran, 2016). Some works also refer to e-petitioning in the context of "Big Data" analysis (Briassoulis, 2010, Contamin et al., 2017).
While research is promising, there is a general agreement (Boulianne, 2015; Wright, 2015) that is still at a preliminary level. The objective of this open panel is to fill the gap by inviting papers that are interested on a variety issues related to e-petitions such as: how diffuse is the usage of e-petitions? Who are the e-petitioners? What is their social, media and political impact? What are topics submitted and what do they tell us about general opinion? Which factors explain the success of an e-petition? What are the similarities and differences between the institutional and non-institutional e-petition systems?

Paper List

Title Details
Do Institutional E-Petitions Have an Impact? The E-Petitions from the Chamber of Deputies in Luxembourg View Paper Details
E-Petitions in Quebec: Between Transfer and Resistance View Paper Details
The E-Petitioning Between Mobilization and Clicktivism. Sociology of E-Petitioners View Paper Details
Who Peticipates? Proponents of Parliamentary Citizens‘ Initiatives and Petitions in Austrian Parliament View Paper Details
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